Although Steph Curry tried to will the Warriors over the Nuggets down the stretch with 33 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the floor with eight assists, four steals and three boards in 37 minutes off the bench, it wasn’t enough to pull off the comeback in game four.
While fouls built up late, a costly turnover on an inbounds pass from Otto Porter Jr. to Andrew Wiggins hurt the Warriors’ chances to steal a potential series sweep.
Nikola Jokic led the game with 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field with eight boards and six assists in 38 minutes to help the Nuggets record their first win of the series.
Before the series turns back to the Bay Area for game five, here are three observations from Sunday’s contest in Denver.
Jordan Poole's Quiet Night
Through three games, Jordan Poole has stolen the show in the first round of the playoffs. The third-year guard scored 26 or more points in the first three games, including a 30 point explosion in his first career playoff contest.
Poole went into Sunday averaging 28.7 points on 66.7% shooting from the field and 59.1% from deep. However, the dynamic 22-year-old was quiet on Sunday in Denver.
The Michigan Wolverines product notched 11 points on a cold 3-of-10 shooting from the field. Game four was Poole lowest scoring performance since Feb. 27 against the Dallas Mavericks.
Although he was quiet when it came to scoring, Poole dished out his nine assists while swiping three steals, both new playoff-highs.
Led by Bones Hyland and DeMarcus Cousins, the Nuggets’ bench unit made an impact on Sunday. Hyland provided a spark with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field with seven assists and four rebounds in 20 minutes. Hyland buried three clutch triples during his appearance off the bench.
While Jokic was off the floor, Cousins caused problems in Golden State’s frontcourt on Sunday. The former Warriors big tallied 10 points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the field with four boards and two assists.
Along with the bench, Jokic got more help from Monte Morris Jr. and Aaron Gordon. Both Morris and Gordon produced their best games of the series, each tallying over 20 points.
Trouble from the line
While whistle reigned down early and often, one of the best shooters in NBA history uncharacteristically struggled from the charity stripe.
Curry shot 10-of-14 from the free throw line, surprisingly missing four attempts. Missing four shots from the line was the most free throws he’s missed in any single game in his career.
Through three games in the series, Curry is shooting 75% from the free throw line (24-of-32). He’s missed at least two free throws in each of the last three games.
Via @kendra__andrews on Twitter:
Make that any game in his career. Tonight's four missed free-throws by Steph is the most he's missed in any game he's played — regular season and playoffs. https://t.co/EK6UT7WEQO
— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) April 24, 2022
GSW: Steph Curry (33)
DEN: Nikola Jokic (37)
GSW: Draymond Green (11)
DEN: Nikola Jokic (8)
GSW: Jordan Poole (9)
DEN: Bones Hyland (7)
GSW: Steph Curry (4)
DEN: Austin Rivers (5)
GSW: Andrew Wiggins (2)
DEN: Aaron Gordon (2)
Highlight of the Game
Via @NBA on Twitter
— NBA (@NBA) April 24, 2022